The hour is quarter to eleven and we settle in for the second start to our morning. Yesterday, feeling under the weather, I fell asleep at six p.m. and slept till 9, back to bed at 10, up at four to let Orion pee, then out again till 7 this morning. When I woke up my stomach felt my own, and my head resumed feeling normal again and Orion was ready for us to do something. My bones were ready to do something as well, sick of being stationary, so after bundling up we headed for the dog park to meet our friends Kris, Sarah and Watson.
The dog park may be one of my favorite places to walk when Orion is behaving himself and I'm not having anxiety issues over him tackling bikers, chasing runners, or humping every dog around. It is a huge plot of land where the old state mental hospital use to be, with rolling hills, big fields, tree lines and a stream that runs through it. Perfect. Every time I go I think, "This is what I am looking for in a place of my own." It is quiet, the dog can run off leash, swim with abandon (which he did much to my it's only 32 degrees out horror) and my soul can settle into the land. I once had a friend who would have felt similar to me in this landscape speaking to her and she phrased it something along the lines of, "Enough land, but tucked against the hills so my eyes have something to rest on." That is this little place. I have found this on the way to The Eric Carle Museum too, driving along the land that makes up much of Hampshire College. It's a special type of setting but I hope someday I can find a little house on such land. In the meantime, I'm content on a Sunday morning with sparse people or dogs out, watching my dog race after his lanky black dog buddy, and chat with my two friends about the various woes of being pregnant (not me) and what we would need to own a communal farm...
Orion, on this walk, happened to find every puddle, crack every ice that was hiding puddles, and swim or drink from them. Needless to say, while much of walking through the park involved skating over the ice covered paths, the other half was mud, and Orion smelled horrible and didn't quite resemble my yellow lab, more a murky grey dog. When we got home, I broke the news to him that we were going to have to give him a bath. He peacefully hopped up into the claw foot tub and let me bath him. This has never happened before. He has never WAITED to be bathed. I've sat on him. I've strattled him. I've been covered in mud and dog fur from pinning him. Never once have I made it out of bath time with dry hair and a clean body.
"It must be because you're three huh buddy?" I asked, leaning over and pouring water down his side.
He looked at me but stayed still. The water turned a murky brown. I unhooked his leash. He stayed still. I told him all done, he hopped out, and proceeded to shake (minor Noah's ark moment in the bathroom) then rub all along the walls, before I could rope him in to being toweled off.
Then off to the living room we went, me, getting dressed a second time. Creative books surrounding us, cup of coffee, and a nest for Orion to stay warm as his light fluffy self dries off. A good morning for a girl and her dog.